Someone heard the good news - Jared Wickerham
Rick Hahn has made his first free agent signing from outside the organization today.
In an offseason that has already shown some confusingly large and poor fitting contracts (see Red Sox, Boston), the White Sox made their first move since the Jake Peavy extension. Jeff Keppinger is moving to Chicago at the cost of $12MM over the next three years.
Keppinger is a utility man who spent most of his time at third base for the Tampa Bay Rays last season while also spending time at first base and second base. He can also play short stop in a pinch, but it's probably for the best of everyone involved if we never see that pan out.
This is by no means a sexy signing, but it's a relatively safe one that makes a good deal of sense for what the Sox are trying to accomplish. Keppinger only needs to be worth about 2.1 WAR over the next three seasons to earn his contract. If used properly, that shouldn't be a problem.
Since the team hasn't really said anything about how he will be used, all we can do is speculate. It seems likely that he'll be involved heavily at third base this season while eventually becoming the utility man or trade bait once Carlos Sanchez proves to be ready.
Fans who think the team strikes out too much will love Jeff, as only Juan Pierre has struck out fewer times over the last couple of seasons. He'll get along great with Gordon Beckham as well since he played college ball for the Georgia Bulldogs.